Registered nurses Russel Torralba and Alfredo Ruiz, from San Diego, California, are being criminally investigated for engaging in a non-consensual physical relationship with a 98-year-old patient.
The pair were caught in the act, as security cameras filmed them groping the patient and one another, while they were supposed to be providing home care for the senior.
The patient has suffered a stroke, and finds herself bound to her bed. Even if she cannot move or talk, she is conscious and aware of the abuse.
In March 2011, the senior's family installed cameras to investigate the nurses, believing she was not receiving proper care. They had previously complained to the nurses’ employer, AMS Home Care Solutions, but couldn't get a proper answer as to what was going on until they saw the security camera footage.
They were paying AMS $1,300 (€1,018) per day for the nurses' services, the Inquisitr writes.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs intervened, to investigate their employer.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever had a case that has a video like this. We are working to shut them down”, spokesperson Russ Heimerich says.
Torralba and Ruiz are being criminally investigated. Their nursing licenses have been suspended, but the limitation only applies to providing home-care, allowing them to continue working in hospitals. A hearing is scheduled for November 14, to determine whether their rights will be revoked permanently.
The victim's family is taking them on in a civil suit, for fraud, elder abuse and negligent supervision. They are set to appear in court on January 14.
“I myself couldn’t believe it,” family attorney William Berman says, explaining the video is the most blatant evidence of abuse he has come across in 15 years of practicing law.
“It’s not about the money. [...] It’s about dignity and accountability, to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” he argues, demanding justice.